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DHS, Air Force Set Sights on Aviation Cybersecurity; Will Roper Quoted

Jeff Brody
Will Roper

The Department of Homeland Security has revived a program to identify airliners’ risks to cyber attacks, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday. DHS teamed up with the departments of Transportation and Defense on the reconstituted cybersecurity program, which will involve limited aircraft testing.

The U.S. Air Force plans to conduct its own initiative to look at the cybersecurity posture of commercial aviation systems. The service runs more than 5,300 aircraft, including converted commercial planes, and has mobilized internal teams to identify cyber vulnerabilities in its systems.

Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology, and logistics and a 2019 Wash100 Award winner, said he wants the military branch to take an urgent approach to finding potential weaknesses in aircraft. “If we don’t probe first, our adversaries will,” Roper said in an interview. “We’ve been a little complacent in not trying to attack all of the parts of the airplane.”

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